LINN COUNTY, IA – The first COVID-19 cases in Iowa were announced this week, which has resulted in increasing awareness and preparation for the potential spread of COVID-19 to Linn County communities. Linn County Public Health (LCPH) continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as local public and private partners to monitor and prepare for potential cases and plan to mitigate spread of COVID-19. Public health partners plan for these kinds of events, and have plans and systems in place to respond and prevent spread of disease.
Currently, individual risk of COVID-19 is dependent upon exposure. This includes travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring. For updated travel guidance, visit the CDC COVID-19 Travel Information webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. Individuals that have recently been to an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days may face some limitations on movement or activity. Those individuals are asked to follow public health instructions during this time.
LCPH asks everyone to do their part to help plan for this emerging public health threat. Every-day prevention methods for containing the spread of germs are very important. This includes washing hands frequently, staying home if you are ill, and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is also important.
Individuals and organizations can also do their part to prepare for and mitigate spread of COVID-19. Schools, businesses, and other organizations should review their plans for potential absences due to illness. IDPH has many targeted recommendations for schools, businesses, long-term care facilities and more at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus. Individuals should make a plan with their families that considers how they will continue to work if your child’s school closes, if you become sick, or how you will take care of sick family members while trying not to get infected.
It is important to get information on COVID-19 from trusted sources. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit these websites:
Iowa Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.
Linn County Public Health, an agency within Linn County government, serves more than 225,000 residents of Linn County to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. Learn more at linncounty.org/health or by calling 319-892-6000. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LCPublicHealth and follow us on Twitter @LCPublicHealth.